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A histochemical study on the effects of photoperiod on gonadal and adrenal function in the female bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus, Schreb.)

, : A histochemical study on the effects of photoperiod on gonadal and adrenal function in the female bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus, Schreb.). General and Comparative Endocrinology, 411: 41-52

The effect of photoperiod length on the sexual maturation of juvenile female bank voles was investigated. Voles kept from an age of 18-22 days for 8 wk in a long (18L[light h]:6D[dark h], group L) photoperiod were slightly heavier and had significantly larger adrenals, gonads and uteri than those kept in a short (6L:18D, group S) photoperiod for the same length of time. The ovaries and the uteri of juvenile voles (18-22 days old, the age of the animals at the beginning of the experiment) born and reared in a long (18L:6D, group C) photoperiod were also significantly heavier than those of the group S animals. A juxtamedullary zone (X zone), moderate in tetrazolium reductase (TR) activity, poor in lipids and lacking 3.beta.-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD) activity, present in the adrenal cortex of group L animals (often comprising 1/3 of the entire cortex), was poorly defined or absent in group S adrenals. A marked quantitative difference in the histochemically detectable adrenocortical lipids between voles exposed to different photoperiods was observed, the cortex of group S animals being richer in lipids than that of group L voles. In group L ovaries the overall activity of NADH- and NADPH-TR was more intense, and the difference in enzyme activity between the granulosa and the theca interna was more pronounced (especially for NADPH-TR) than in the regressive ovaries. Ovarian 3.beta.-HSD activity was also somewhat stronger in group L than in group S voles. Strong 3.beta.-HSD activity was present in the theca interna of group L ovaries while it was virtually absent in the interna of group S ovaries. A slight decrease in ovarian lipids was noted in voles exposed to a short photoperiod when compared to controls. The histochemical results are interpreted to reflect a decrease in steroid synthesis in the adrenals and gonads of voles exposed to short photoperiods.


PMID: 6993280

DOI: 10.1016/0016-6480(80)90030-1

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